10479 - Continuities in epi-Olmec ritual practices referred to in hieroglyphic texts (John Justeson & Terrence Kaufman)

A dozen epi-Olmec hieroglyphic texts are known. They come from both foci of epi-Olmec culture: two are from the site of Chiapa de Corzo; most come from an 80km stretch of the coastal plain of southern Veracruz between the Papaloapan River and the site of Tres Zapotes. The earliest was made no later than 300 BCE, the latest refers to events in 533 CE.

Three of these texts, all from the time period that is the focus of this symposium, bear relatively elaborate elaborate statements about the elements of rituals on each of the three longest epi-Olmec texts -- the La Mojarra stela (157 CE), the Tuxtla Statuette (162 CE), and the text on a Teotihuacan-style mask (ca. 450 CE + 70 years). This paper compares the documented structures of these rituals. Although the texts are framed by different types of introductory situations and seem to have partly different immediate purposes, and although there are differences in what is made explicit about each event, the texts show consistency and continuities among them in the types and sequencing of the ritual acts, in their timing, and in the ways they are expressed.

Keywords: Veracruz, epi-Olmec, ritual

Author: Justeson, John (University at Albany, Ud States of Am / USA)


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